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Sport Psychology

Code: LPSI311     Acronym: PD

Classification Keyword
OFICIAL Psychology

Instance: 2021/2022 - 1S Ícone do Moodle

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Psychology
Course/CS Responsible: First degree in Psychology

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
PSIC 22 Official Curricular Structure 3 - 3 27 81

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
Maria Teresa Limpo Hargreaves de Sousa Dias

Teaching - Hours

Theoretical and practical : 2,00
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Theoretical and practical Totals 1 2,00
Maria Teresa Limpo Hargreaves de Sousa Dias 1,50
Marina Gomes Serra de Lemos 0,50

Teaching language

Suitable for English-speaking students


After attending this course, students should be able to:

  1. Define Sport Psychology and characterize its evolution to present days, at national and international levels;
  2. Describe the process of motor learning and identify evidence-based teaching strategies to promote it and facilitate its transfer;
  3. Understand the role of motivational and socio-emotional factors in the practice of sport;
  4. Identify practices of mental training to maximize performance across different sport contexts;
  5. Acknowledge the complexity and importance of the coach-athlete/s relation and the psychologist role on it;
  6. Discuss from a grounded viewpoint major risks and benefits associated with the practice of sport;
  7. 7. Understand the importance of sport psychologists and their main areas of activity.

Learning outcomes and competences

Equivalent to learning goals.

Working method



1. Introduction to Sport Psychology: definition; history; state of the art.
2. Motor learning: OPTIMAL theory; skills acquisition and automatization; teaching strategies.
3. Motivation theories applied to sports: self-determination; achievement goals; causal attributions; self-efficacy.
4. Socio-emotional skills: self-control; resilience and mental toughness; coping and emotional regulation.
5. Mindfulness and psychological skills training: goals setting, relaxation, concentration, mental imagery, etc.
6. Coach-athlete/s relationship: micropolitics; power, leadership, and communication; team dynamics.
7. Negative effects of practicing sports: injuries, burnout, violence, substance abuse, eating disorders, discrimination, etc.
8. Sport as a promotor of public health: physical and psychological benefits; character development; impact on well-being throughout the lifespan

Mandatory literature

Biddle, S. J. H., Mutrie, N., & Gorely, T. ; Psychology of physical activity: Determinants, well-being and interventions , Routledge, 2015
Dosil, J. ; The sport psychologist's handbook: A guide for sport‐specific performance enhancement, John Wiley & Sons, 2006
Hanrahan, S. J., & Andersen, M. B. ; Routledge handbook of applied sport psychology: A comprehensive guide for students and practitioners, Routledge, 2010
Richard M. Ryan; The^Oxford handbook of human motivation. ISBN: 978-0-19-936623-1
Gershon Tenenbaum; Handbook of sport psychology. ISBN: 978-0-471-73811-4

Comments from the literature

Other articles will be recommended during the classes.

Teaching methods and learning activities

1. Independent study through the reading of papers provided by the professors, aimed to prepare the presential sessions by the students;
2. Expositive presentation of the topics by the professors through PPTs and illustrative videos;
3. Presential debates and exercises based on the class presentations in articulation with previous readings;
4. Online component in Moodle to provide relevant materials and administration of short evaluation tests.


Social sciences > Psychological sciences > Psychology > Applied psychology

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation without final exam

Assessment Components

designation Weight (%)
Participação presencial 10,00
Teste 50,00
Trabalho escrito 40,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

designation Time (hours)
Estudo autónomo 54,00
Frequência das aulas 27,00
Total: 81,00

Eligibility for exams

It is mandatory to attend at least 75% of the planned classes.

Calculation formula of final grade

Continuous evaluation in three components:
(a) Synthesis of a scientific paper about one of the themes addressed in the course (40%);
(b) Five short tests with consultation allowed, which will include critical reflections on the themes (50%, 10% per test);
(c) Involvement and participation during the presential debates and exercises (10%).

A minimum grade of 9.5 is required in the components (a) and (b).

Examinations or Special Assignments


Special assessment (TE, DA, ...)

Special conditions maybe exceptionally considered. The student must directly contact the professors up to the second class of the semester.

Classification improvement

It is possible to improve the classification in the components (a) and (b) a single time through the completion of an exam up to the appeal season of the academic year immediatly after the one in which approval was attained. This exame has a weight of 90% in the final grade.
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